Types of Sentences

Hello, Write Owls! Welcome to Day Two of Grammar 110. Today we’re talking about the different types of sentences and sentence structures.

There are four different types of sentences: declarative, imperative, exclamatory, and interrogative.

Declarative sentences are the most common. They are statements.

Examples:

My name is Jess.

I love grammar.

Imperative sentences are commands. They tell someone to do something. Oftentimes the subject of the sentence is not included. In this case the subject is an implied you.

Examples:

Susie, clean your room.

Turn in your paperwork when you’re finished. (The implied subject here is you.)

Exclamatory sentences are similar to declarative sentences, except they indicate excitement.

Examples:

I love learning about grammar!

We’re going on vacation!

Interrogative sentences ask questions.

What is your name?

Do you enjoy learning grammar?

The differences between these sentences are fairly straight-forward, but I want to point out one common mistake I see. If you start a sentence with “I wonder” or some variation of that, it is not an interrogative sentence. It is declarative because you are stating that you are wondering something rather than asking the question. The sentence should end with a period rather than a question mark. Here are a few examples:

Declarative: I wonder where she went.

Interrogative: Where did she go?

Declarative: Joe wondered if he would get accepted at Harvard.

Interrogative: Will Joe get accepted at Harvard?

Those are the four different types of sentences. Now let’s look at the different sentence structures. Again, there are four types: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex.

Simple sentences have a single independent clause.

Examples:

I am participating in Camp Write Owl.

I like writing.

Compound sentences have two or more independent clauses. They must be joined by a coordinating conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so) or a semicolon.

Examples:

I like writing, so I’m participating in Camp Write Owl.

I don’t know much about grammar, but I’m learning more every day.

Complex sentences have an independent clause and one or more dependent clauses.

Examples:

Even though I love reading, I haven’t read any books this week. (“I haven’t read any books this week” is the independent clause, and “Even though I love reading” is the dependent clause.)

The dog that stole my newspaper ran down the street. (“The dog ran down the street” is the independent clause, and “that stole my newspaper” is the dependent clause.)

Compound-complex sentences are a combination of a compound and complex sentences, so they have two or more independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses.

Examples:

Even though I love reading, I haven’t read any books this week, so I’m going to read tonight. (“I haven’t read any books this week” and “I’m going to read tonight” are independent clauses, and “Even though I love reading” is a dependent clause.)

I don’t know much about grammar, which is a tough subject, but I’m learning more every day. (“I don’t know much about grammar” and “I’m learning more every day” are independent clauses, and “which is a tough subject” is the dependent clause.)

Those are the types of sentences and sentence structures. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments down below, and I will answer them either as a reply or in my Q&A on Saturday. If you’re confused about what clauses are, check back for tomorrow’s lesson on sentence parts.

For practice, see if you can write an example of each type of sentence. You’re welcome to share your sentences in the comments, and I’ll check them for you. Just make sure you specify which type each of your sentences is.

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